Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: TSWSBTD on September 10, 2008, 12:34:42 AM

Title: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 10, 2008, 12:34:42 AM
I'd appreciate constructive feedback to the prospects for admission to a top 10 or top 25 law school with the following academic credentials and work experience?

UGPA (3.1 from Stanford University/University of Miami: transfered to the University of Miami in middle of sophomore year)
MBA from UCLA in 1990 with a 3.3 GPA
LSAT: 170

Worked as Hedge Fund Analyst and Trader since 1998; with prior positions in venture capital and corporate finance.

Thanks in advance for responses!
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: secondsblue on September 10, 2008, 09:39:17 AM
You will get in anywhere you apply, except maybe H/Y/S.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 10, 2008, 09:45:51 AM
Thanks Xynder.

I am leaning toward NYU and GULC as my top 2.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: secondsblue on September 10, 2008, 11:44:41 AM
Thanks Xynder.

I am leaning toward NYU and GULC as my top 2.

You'll get into both. Black male + 170 LSAT = as long as you don't write your PS in fecal matter and handcarry it to the admissions office wearing nothing but a potato sack, you WILL GET IN to all but HYS.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: CTL on September 10, 2008, 12:10:29 PM
I think you'll get into any school you apply to, assuming you write a PS that is sincere.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: bloomlaw on September 11, 2008, 06:38:21 PM
You guys don't think age will have any affect?
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: Jolie Was Here on September 11, 2008, 08:03:57 PM
You guys don't think age will have any affect?

Negative, you're implying?  Why?
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: bloomlaw on September 11, 2008, 08:07:04 PM
because he's over 40, i dunno. That just seemed old to start law school is all, but I guess looking at it, it more could harm him with hiring after law school.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 11, 2008, 08:17:24 PM
Thanks for all the responses. The comments on age have crossed my mind, especially if I were looking for the BIGLAW associate positions; but my preference is an SEC, FTC, FDA, or federal Prosecutor legal track.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: acefreely on September 11, 2008, 08:29:26 PM
because he's over 40, i dunno. That just seemed old to start law school is all, but I guess looking at it, it more could harm him with hiring after law school.

I think his age would be a positive factor for acceptance into law school. Many top schools pride themselves with diversity.

To the OP, you have a lot going for you. Good luck!
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on September 11, 2008, 09:54:06 PM
I wouldn't rule Harvard out.  You'd be an atypical applicant, that's for sure, but I think Toby just might take a chance on you.  Anything's possible!  Good luck to you!
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 12, 2008, 12:42:41 AM
Thanks ACE.

Question: what's "OP"? I am not up on the lingo.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 12, 2008, 12:45:10 AM
Naturally,

Harvard's GPA range looks like a stretch.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: bloomlaw on September 12, 2008, 03:00:56 AM
Thanks ACE.

Question: what's "OP"? I am not up on the lingo.

original poster
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 12, 2008, 07:37:51 AM
got it. Thanks ACE.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on September 12, 2008, 11:38:55 PM
Naturally,

Harvard's GPA range looks like a stretch.
ITA.  And yet...


...HYS usually have higher GPA requirements, but your grades are in the past, and you've accomplished a lot since then.  Write a good essay (and meet with some admission people), and I think you'll even get into Harvard. 
I think this is spot-on. 


Hence...
I wouldn't rule Harvard out.  You'd be an atypical applicant, that's for sure, but I think Toby just might take a chance on you.  Anything's possible!  Good luck to you!
:)

Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 13, 2008, 05:44:22 AM
Lindbergh,

Does applying by January change you view of HYS prospects? Yes, the work experience has been substantial in its accomplishments. GULC is of interest because of it location and my considering working for the SEC or Justice Department.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on September 20, 2008, 09:09:30 AM
I was thinking more about your post, and I just wanted to add one more point.  --> I encourage you to come and visit the campus and see HLS in action if you haven't already.  I definitely think you have a solid shot of getting in here (esp. since your GPA probably came from an era with little grade inflation), though I wonder if you'd feel that the school has too "young" a vibe for you. 

For example, I can pretty much guarantee that every other black male in last year's 1L program was age 24 y/o and below, with the overwhelming majority being around 22 or 23.  This year's 1L class seems even younger than ours, though that's purely anecdotal.  In my experience, most black students here are fresh off undergrad, and I can only think of 2 black males and about 10-12 black females that took more than one year off before starting law school.  (I realize this is a large school, but I do pride myself on knowing most all the black students across the JD program.)  The only older black students I see on campus tend to be foreign attorneys (mostly African) earning LL.Ms. 

I'm sure the numbers of older students are somewhat better when you look across the student population as a whole, but they are pretty paltry all around.  (That's another reason why I think you actually may get in.)  Thinking about my section in general, there was only 1 guy over the age of 30 and he was just barely that.  Most everyone else had just graduated or had taken a year off.  There was a 1L section last year that seemed to have the bulk of the handful of older 1Ls (I forget which one), but I was told it was the one without any 8 am classes so that the parents have time to drop their kids off at school.

Notwithstanding what I've shared, I recognize that at this stage in your life you may not necessarily coming to law school to make friends, enjoy the social scene, connect with black students, etc.  Given your interests and background, you are bound to find a group of people who have done or aspire to do similar work.  That said, I would also hope that you find a law school where you don't feel like you're surrounded by a bunch of young whippersnappers (if such would bother youl).  In that regard, a school like Northwestern (or GULC as others have suggested given your background) may be a better fit.  Just my $0.02.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on September 21, 2008, 06:35:28 AM
To me, the idea of turning down HLS because it doesn't have as many people the same age seems insane.  This kind of social stuff may matter when you're fresh out of UG, but for anyone in their 30's, I doubt it will be much of a concern.  .
Understood.  That is why I said....

...Notwithstanding what I've shared, I recognize that at this stage in your life you may not necessarily [eta: be] coming to law school to make friends, enjoy the social scene, connect with black students, etc.  Given your interests and background, you are bound to find a group of people who have done or aspire to do similar work.  That said, I would also hope that you find a law school where you don't feel like you're surrounded by a bunch of young whippersnappers (if such would bother you!).  In that regard, a school like Northwestern (or GULC as others have suggested given your background) may be a better fit.  Just my $0.02.

It really comes down to priorities and fit.  Besides, the OP is not "in his 30s" as you stated, but rather as the title of the post describes he is "over 40."  At that age, I would imagine that (a) the whole age issue could be so unimportant that his response mirrors ours above or (b) it is a cause of concern when choosing a program where he might be twice the age of say, 9.7 out of every 10 students he meets.  Law school is a three-year investment, and the age gap could give pause to someone over 40 and perhaps even approaching 50.

Bottom line is - The age thing may or may not factor in the balance if it were your decision or my decision to make, but since it's OP's decision to make (and since he's coming to this board for general advice anyway), I thought I'd bring it up given my impressions of the student body at my school.  I don't think it should be the sole determining factor (esp. b/c anyone who reads my posts knows how great I think HLS is), but I also don't believe in choosing Harvard b/c it's Harvard either. ymmv
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: Miss P on September 21, 2008, 07:48:17 AM
To me, the idea of turning down HLS because it doesn't have as many people the same age seems insane.  This kind of social stuff may matter when you're fresh out of UG, but for anyone in their 30's, I doubt it will be much of a concern.  You'll be focused on studying anyway, and any lack of social distractions will probably be a positive.

Bottom line, graduating from HLS gives you advantages and security NU and GULC simply can't offer.  The only reason I can see for turning down the former for the latter is a full-ride scholarship.

That's just my opinion as well, though.

I think these decisions are very personal.  That said, yours seems to be a rather narrow view of law school.  I didn't come to law school to make friends, for sure, but having them around certainly picks up my spirit at times.  I don't know if I could do it without them around.  Moreover, networking is really important and may be much harder for someone  in the OP's position given the environment Naturally described. 
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: Miss P on September 21, 2008, 09:56:40 AM
This all presumes he's going to law school for career reasons (as he appears to indicate), and not for social reasons.  If the latter, your concerns are clearly more on point.

I think it depends whether he wants the JD to advance his current career or to start a new career.  Obviously, someone with his financial experience will have a foot in the door with corporate litigation and finance groups, but there is age discrimination against older JDs, and he will need to network to counter that.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: Miss P on September 21, 2008, 10:35:05 AM
They're not usually looking for a social scene, and they're unlikely to need others for emotional support in the same way a recent undergrad might.

I wish this were true.

I mostly agree with the rest of your analysis, but (a) having seen some of my own friends have trouble getting the jobs they want out of HLS and YLS, I think you are somewhat overestimating the placement advantages of the top schools for some groups of students and (b) I disagree with your notion that networking isn't important for SEC/Justice positions.  But YMMV.  I think it was helpful for Naturally to share information about the Harvard community even if it is unlikely to be a decisive factor in the OP's case.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: Miss P on September 21, 2008, 05:37:08 PM
Yeah, as noted, there's never anything wrong with extra info, I just think it's vital that the OP understands the placement differential b/t HLS and lower T14 schools.  I'd be surprised if any HLS grads had much difficulty with SEC/Justice jobs, given that most HLS grads are seeking the top biglaw jobs.  Either way, there's no question that it's harder from GULC, where many students are seeking such jobs.

I'm also not sure how networking with other students would help much in obtaining government jobs -- it would seem internships, etc., would be the key for this, along with the most impressive degree possible.

I think you are making an unwarranted assumption that employers examine applicants in comparison only to their classmates and not to a larger pool of applicants from all schools.  Indeed, all other things being equal, a school that sends more students to a particular agency may give its students the upper hand; the school has strong ties to the agency and its students are a known quantity.  I'm not saying that this is enough to overcome the real advantage Harvard  students have over students from other schools in general.  I just think your reasoning is faulty.  (FWIW, the advantage is at least in part due to the fact that Harvard's OPIA is so strong -- and such a priority for the school.)

Also, it's obvious you have never looked for a public sector job if you don't believe networking is valuable (for both internships and post-grad jobs).

(Are you a mature male over 40?   ;)

No, I am an immature female in my 30s.  But having been out of school for a long time and having deep roots in my community don't stop law school from occasionally being alienating.  I am very thankful for my friends, who make studying, applying for jobs, student organizing, and just being at school easier.  I imagine the same will be true for the OP.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: naturallybeyoutiful on September 21, 2008, 09:24:12 PM
It's more obvious that you've never attended HLS (or know anyone who has) if you think an HLS student has to "network" with other students to obtain a public sector job. 
I disagree.  Networking is invaluable for HLS grads going into either the private or the public sector, and OPIA is devoting significant time and resources to creating and maintaining the connections that help HLS public interest students secure some of the most coveted positions in that sector.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: Miss P on September 21, 2008, 09:45:12 PM
It's more obvious that you've never attended HLS (or know anyone who has) if you think an HLS student has to "network" with other students to obtain a public sector job. 
I disagree.  Networking is invaluable for HLS grads going into either the private or the public sector, and OPIA is devoting significant time and resources to creating and maintaining the connections that help HLS public interest students secure some of the most coveted positions in that sector.

Actually, in retrospect, this is true.  Very few HLS students obtain jobs through on-campus interviews, and most get them through friends they meet during school. 

In light of this, I'll wait for the OP to provide further guidance before posting further.

Your sarcasm is misplaced.  I used to participate in hiring decisions for both interns and post-grad fellowships at a major national legal non-profit where we had hundreds of applicants from HYS and the rest of the T14.  Unless people had extraordinary cover letters or experience -- relative to the pool, not to law students in general -- demonstrated ties to the organization, advocacy from OPIA (and its peers at other top schools), and recommendations from people who worked with us were usually the decisive factors in whether we invited people for interviews.   

FWIW, I also know several HLS grads who were unable to get the government and public sector jobs they wanted and ended up working in the private sector or in different fields than they had hoped.  I think you are overestimating the (conceded) advantage of an HLS degree.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: Miss P on September 21, 2008, 09:53:32 PM
Yeah, as noted, there's never anything wrong with extra info, I just think it's vital that the OP understands the placement differential b/t HLS and lower T14 schools.  I'd be surprised if any HLS grads had much difficulty with SEC/Justice jobs, given that most HLS grads are seeking the top biglaw jobs.  Either way, there's no question that it's harder from GULC, where many students are seeking such jobs.

I'm also not sure how networking with other students would help much in obtaining government jobs -- it would seem internships, etc., would be the key for this, along with the most impressive degree possible.

I think you are making an unwarranted assumption that employers examine applicants in comparison only to their classmates and not to a larger pool of applicants from all schools. 

Actually, I'm not.  I'm rather making the warranted assumption that employers DO examine applicants in comparison to the larger pool, where HLS is basically the cream of the crop.  If they only compared them to their classmates, then this might be an argument for choosing GULC, as he'll probably do better relative to them than he would in the more competitive HLS student body.  You may or may not be making this unwarranted assumption, but it's not clear.

I did misunderstand you.  I thought you were saying that it would be harder to get a SEC/DOJ job from GULC because you would be compared to a larger pool of applicants than you would at HLS (where there are fewer people going into government work).  Instead, you were making the more supportable assumption that HLS applicants look better than GULC applicants in general and one way to rise above the mass of GULC applicants is to be from a better school.  I do not, however, understand your argument about the relatively small number of HLS students who go into government work.  Could you please explain it to me?  Taking as a given HLS grads' general advantages in the job market, what difference should this make for the OP?  Is this just your diversity argument?  It proves a bit much.

***

ETA: OP, I'm sorry we've derailed your thread like this.  Lindbergh and I have a difficult relationship.  You will likely get in everywhere you apply (though nothing is guaranteed), and I hope you find the observations of conscientious students like Naturally helpful as you make your decision.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 24, 2008, 04:47:47 PM
Firstly, 

Thanks for the immense feedback since my last visit. As stated in the OP I am a trader for an investment bank; thus the last 2 weeks have been a circus; hence the late responses. Naturally,  your description of the social terrain at HLS is important, but as Lindbergh stated career change is my primary objective.

That being said, I had not thought of the 'crowded' market for GULC students seeking gov't positions. It's definitely a consideration I must impute.

Being a divorced male having neither a  mortgage nor other debt, borrowing $100k plus for the best education attainable is not a problem; in fact it seems a requirement for overcoming the age discrimination.

Naturally, you mentioned my background for finance and or business litigation practices of BIGLAW firms would be attractive. Could you weigh that against the age factor? 

Thanks again!!

Oh yeah, a prior respondent mentioned my grades were so far in the past it should not matter. One of the reason for the low GPA was that 5 weeks of my first quarter at Stanford were spent laid up with re constructive knee surgery(track athlete) and once I transfered to the University of (football) Miami I worked full-time for two years as an engineering for IBM.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: CTL on September 24, 2008, 05:21:45 PM
You're kidding!  You have absolutely nothing to worry about re: acceptance to the best law schools in the country.  You will almost certainly have no problem finding work in biglaw as well.  It sounds as though you are a truly exceptional applicant.  Best of luck!
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 24, 2008, 05:48:48 PM
Comotellamas,

So the BIGLAW age discrimination, in your opinion, would not as much of an issue?
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
Post by: CTL on September 24, 2008, 06:15:07 PM
I think you will encounter age discrimination in any industry with a career change at 40, but I do NOT think that it will necessarily prevent you from a great career in biglaw.  You have a lot of valuable experience and knowledge of the financial sector which would be a huge asset to a firm.  Moreover, you will most likely bring with you a network of potential clients. 

Age discrimination might come into play in a bigger way when trying to get on the partner track.  You might have to think hard about what you want and where you want to be career-wise before taking offers at a particular firm.  A bit of research into the culture and opportunities at the firms you apply to should mitigate the negative possibilities you might run into. 

This is all speculative, so take what I say with a big grain of salt.  I'm 0L right now, but I'm just trying to think about some problems ripe for pondering in your future.
Title: Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
Post by: TSWSBTD on September 24, 2008, 07:30:33 PM
You are correct as to the presence of age discrimination in other industries.  In many cases have a very specific skill set is the best way to overcome it.

Thanks